The winds have finally calmed down and the fishing is on fire. Lots of bait on the flats and the target species is following the bait schools. Tarpon are back in town, and many anglers are catching some sizable fish.

Trout are a great go-to this time of year with the grasses flushing out on the flats. Focus on using artificial jigs with curly tail bodies. Adapt the weight of the jig head to account for the depth you are fishing. Use 1/8 ounce for 5 feet of water or less; a little heavier if you’re in the 5-8 ft. depths. I prefer white or new-penny colors.

Tarpon are an amazing fight. Dead threadfins are premium for catching these challenging fish. Bridges, passes (like Bean Point and Egmont Channel) and local reefs are great locations to begin. They can be finicky at times but be patient and prepared. These fish have a tremendous fight in them. Use a 6000 series spinning reel with a matching rod and some backbone. Will be necessary to cast your baits to the schools of tarpon. 6/0 circle hooks work great for solid hookups. Don’t be discouraged if they throw the hook. It’s called jumping a tarpon. Happens quite often.

Spanish mackerel are plentiful in the bay around the towers or the flats. Long-shank silver, 1/0 hooks with a 40# test leader will be your setup choice for best outcome. Snook are currently closed for harvest, but they are very much in the game plan for a great day out. Greenies always work best for snook and Spanish mackerel.

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